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Canton responds to critical state audit

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CANTON — Responding to a critical state audit, the village Board of Trustees has approved a corrective action plan that includes contracting with an outside accountant to assist Clerk Sally L. Noble.

The four-page document also requires the board’s Audit Committee to meet monthly to review bank reconciliations.

A report released by the sate comptroller’s office in August cited poor record keeping and faulted the village for allowing its fund balance to exceed $2.4 million in May 2011, while its sewer fund had a deficit fund balance of nearly $400,000.

During a special meeting this week, the board also adopted a contract agreement with John C. Parcell IV, a certified public accountant.

Mr. Parcell, of Canton, will be paid a maximum of $5,000 to assist the village with updating its financial software, prepare annual financial reports required by the state and assist Mrs. Noble with bank reconciliations. He already has been paid $1,450 for completing the village’s financial report for the 2008-09 fiscal year.

His duties also will include preparing bank reconciliations for the general fund, sewer and water fund and trust and agency fund from January 2011 to May 2012.

Mrs. Noble, who also serves as village treasurer, will be assisted by Mr. Parcell in the transition to Quickbooks software to maintain financial records and payroll.

The corrective plan will be sent to the state comptroller’s Division of Local Government and School Accountability, Albany. The plan is signed by Mayor David C. Curry.

Other corrective actions listed in the plan:

n The board has authorized the upgrade of its Quickbooks program for village payroll and reports.

n Mrs. Noble will include the result of each month’s bank reconciliations with her monthly report to the board. Her report and the Audit Committee’s report will be examined by trustees at their monthly meeting.

n A report regarding the status of the annual financial report will be provided by Mrs. Noble at or before the board’s final meeting of the 2012-13 fiscal year. If an extension is needed, the board will be made aware of the reasons. The board also will receive a copy of the annual financial report for review and approval before it is filed with the comptroller’s office.

n Effective this fiscal year, the board will conduct an annual audit and will consider authorizing an independent public accountant audit on an annual basis.

n As part of his work for the village, Mr. Parcell will provide the board with an accurate statement of the unreserved fund balance through the current date. Moving forward, the clerk/treasurer will provide the board with a monthly fund balance report.

n The board annually will review and determine the best use of surplus funds.

n The board annually will review its sewer rates during the budget process to ensure that sufficient revenue is generated to cover expenses.

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